How to Style Your Living Room Shelves this Autumn

How to Style Your Living Room Shelves this Autumn

Shelf styling - seems simple, but it is often very difficult to get right. It is about finding the perfect balance of form and function, style and personality.

Open shelving is the perfect way to add interest to a once-blank wall. Shelving, particularly in a living room is also essential. It is important to have maximum storage capability to reduce clutter and keep your living space organised. Here at Shelved we offer endless possibilities, choose one of our ‘off the shelf’ Feature Shelving units which combine open shelving and cupboards, or design your own bespoke configuration, centred around your space and requirements, using our handy easy-to-use 3D product configurator. Our modular shelving provides a versatile canvas for showcasing your personality and uplifting your home decor. But now it's time to get creative.

One of the remarkable aspects of using open shelving as the foundation for your décor is its adaptability. Switch up the decorations with minimal effort to suit the season. For example, as the leaves start to change and the air turns crisp, it is the perfect time to give your living room a cosy and inviting feel. Style your living room shelves for the autumn season and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your home.

1. Let’s start with colour

It is important to start with colour, selecting complementary colours for your living room shelves helps bring the whole look together. Although there is no right or wrong, as colour is entirely subjective, it often helps to try to stick within the same colour palette. For example, select two or three complementary colours that will tie the display together. Or, go monochromatic and combine different shades of a single colour.

When choosing your colour scheme consider existing furniture and décor items in the room, do you have a favourite item that could influence your choice? How about building your scheme around a sentimental ornament? It may sound obvious but you must also take into account the colour of your walls – if you have light-coloured walls, use darker or vibrant décor items, and if your wall is dark, consider lighter or pastel-coloured décor.

As we discussed previously living room shelves can be switched up to really help you get a feel for the season. Given that autumn is characterised by rich, earthy colours mirroring the changing landscape, when styling your living room shelves, incorporate warm hues like deep oranges, reds, and dark greens. You can do this by adding decorative items like vases, candle holders, or even books with autumn-themed covers.

2. Mix and Match Items

The best way to create a visually engaging display is to combine an array of items, objects, and pictures. Let's start with books… books, when arranged aesthetically, are an unbeatable foundation for your shelf-scaping. When styling them, think about positioning them both horizontally and vertically, use bookends and books to create natural divides in your living room shelves, or stack books and use them as a platform for your ornaments. Consider organising books by colour for a cohesive look, choose chunky hardbacks in complimentary colours, or contrast them with the rest of your shelf décor.

What's next? Firstly, it is important to infuse your personality into your display, gather any personal items that have sentimental value or tell a story about your life and interests, making the space feel uniquely yours. Start by distributing these items evenly on the shelves, fill in gaps by incorporating additional vases, sculptures, framed photos, or artwork. Try not to overcrowd one shelf while leaving another bare, consider the size of the items you are displaying, it is important the items you select fit well on the shelves. Vary the height and shape of items to keep your display visually captivating, place tall items at the back and smaller pieces at the front.

As we discussed, shelving must be functional and cannot always be used solely for display. Create hideaway storage for the not-so-pretty items by combining open shelving with cupboards that slot within the apertures in the framework. Alternatively, use baskets and boxes for both organisation and texture. They can hide small items while adding visual interest.

Bring it back to Autumn, a season of textures – think cosy sweaters and plush blankets. Incorporate this into your shelf styling by layering different textures, woven baskets, and knitted throws. A great way to add an autumnal feel to your décor is by bringing the outdoors indoors, add a touch of nature to your indoor space, creating a cosy, rustic look – small pumpkins, gourds, and pinecones are perfect.

3. Get creative with plants

While we are on the topic of nature, let's discuss plants. A touch of green among the warm autumn colours can add a refreshing contrast. Houseplants are a simple and effective way to decorate your shelves; not only this but they also purify the air, increase oxygen within the house, improve your health, and reduce stress.

Similar to your ornaments, mix up the plants you use – introduce hanging plants, small succulents or larger potted plants, this will add interest to your display. For those perfect plant parents, serious about your indoor plants, Shelved has just made your life easier: we have created the perfect way to introduce plants into your shelf display – Planter Boxes. These steel boxes come complete with a plastic waterproof liner, and simply slot into the apertures in your framework.

4. Consider Lighting

When creating the perfect ambience in your living room, it is essential to consider lighting. To achieve a warm and inviting atmosphere use a variety of light sources with different colour temperatures. It is important to avoid an excess of harsh, white light, as it can be unsettling and counterproductive to relaxation. Instead opt for warm, soft and slightly yellowish hues, these are all essential when creating a cosy, inviting feeling.

Back to shelf styling – utilise shelf space for decorative and functional lighting to add character to your room. Choose lamps in styles that go with your décor. When selecting lighting, go for lamps that defuse the light rather than directional or task lighting, this will give off a warmer and calming feel. Use the shelving to position a variation in light sources at different heights, this not only contributes to the overall aesthetic but also enhances the functionality of the room.

As the days get shorter, lighting becomes an essential part of autumn decor. Add scented candles in autumn-inspired scents, such as pumpkin spice or cinnamon, to your shelves. These not only add a beautiful ambience but also fill your living room with the comforting scents of the season.


Transforming your living room shelves for autumn is a creative and enjoyable way to embrace the season's charm. By incorporating earthy tones, seasonal decor, layered textures, and personal touches, you can turn your living room into a warm and inviting space. Don't forget to add candles, greenery, and fall-inspired artwork to complete the look. At Shelved, we're here to help you find the perfect shelving solutions for your living room, so you can showcase your style with elegance and ease.